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Highlights and analysis: House passes resolution to demand Pence invoke 25th Amendment, remove Trump

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday night told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter that he does not believe invoking the 25th Amendment "is in the best interest of our nation."
Image: illustration of President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a red background that shows the Capitol exterior, with navy bubbles showing words like \"Impeachment,\" \"Congress,\" \"President\"
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The House approved a resolution on a late Tuesday night to encourage Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office before his term ends on Jan. 20, a largely symbolic gesture that precedes a vote on impeachment Wednesday.

Pence said earlier Tuesday evening that he will not heed these calls.

Then, on Wednesday morning, House Democrats are planning to take up an article of impeachment against Trump for "incitement of insurrection" in urging his supporters to march on the Capitol last week.

The planned votes come as the FBI sent a warning to law enforcement agencies across the country about possible armed protests at all 50 state Capitols starting Saturday as well the threat of an uprising in Washington that day if Congress removes Trump.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading news on the response to the Capitol riot from Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

Read the highlights:

— At least five Republican House members have said they will vote to impeach Trump.

— Pence said Tuesday evening in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that he does not believe invoking the 25th Amendment "is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution."

— Trump enters final week as president with few allies, no Twitter and an impeachment effort.

— What we know about the people arrested after the Capitol riots.

— After Capitol violence, Trump brand partners eye dumping toxic asset: the president.

Rep. Sherrill claims fellow members led 'reconnaissance' groups through Capitol before riot

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., alleged in a Facebook video on Tuesday that some members of Congress led people through the Capitol on a "reconnaissance" tour of the building one day before Wednesday's riots.

She was not clear which members she saw leading such groups on tour, or whom those groups were composed of.

"And so not only do I intend to see that the president is removed, and never runs for office again and doesn't have access to classified material," she said speaking in support of President Donald Trump's impeachment for his conduct in relation to the riot.

"I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him, those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol on Jan. 5, reconnaissance for the next day. There's members of Congress who incited this violent crowd," Sherrill said.

"I'm going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don't serve in Congress," she added.


Rep. Fred Upton becomes fourth Republican to say they'll vote to impeach Trump

Michigan GOP Rep Fred Upton becomes the fourth Republican to say they will vote to impeach President Donald Trump tomorrow.

Upton's full statement:

“Today the President characterized his inflammatory rhetoric at last Wednesday’s rally as 'totally appropriate,' and he expressed no regrets for last week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. This sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the Constitution.  I would have preferred a bipartisan, formal censure rather than a drawn-out impeachment process. I fear this will now interfere with important legislative business and a new Biden Administration. But it is time to say: Enough is enough."

"The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next. Thus, I will vote to impeach.

Swalwell priases Capitol custodial staff, who've had to clean up after rioters

In speaking on why President Donald Trump should be removed from office via the 25th Amendment, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., hailed Capitol custodial staff, who had to clean up after the Wednesday riot.

In speaking about what Americans should unite around as the president faces his second impeachment, Swalwell said, "let's unite against Donald Trump who inspired terrorists to carry a Confederate flag into this Capitol, display a noose and desecrate the people's house."

"And let's unite for the custodial staff, largely people of color, who cleaned up after those white supremacists because they still believe in this democracy as imperfect as it was that day," he added.

Rep. Biggs, who voted to overturn election results, accuses Dems of 'stoking the fire'

Pelosi assails Trump for 'defiling the genius of the Constitution'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tore into President Donald Trump from the House floor as it considers whether to pass a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Pelosi said Trump "incited a deadly insurrection against America" in egging on the crowd that rioted at the Capitol Wednesday and that, by doing so, he was "defiling the genius of the Constitution."

She said "the gleeful desecration of the Capitol" will "forever stain our nation's history," later praising law enforcement at the Capitol for the "valor they showed in protecting" members and staff.

Pelosi took aim at the president's conduct leading up to, during, and following the riot, first saying he "called for this seditious attack" by urging supporters to travel to Washington, march on the Capitol as it counted the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden, and "fight."

As it was ongoing, Pelosi said Trump wouldn't say anything to call off the mob for hours and then said Tuesday that he was not responsible for the violence. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Trump said, "Everybody to a 'T' thought it was totally appropriate," in reference to his speech at a Wednesday rally.

Pelosi said that if Trump's conduct amounts to an "absolute inability to discharge" his duties, and therefore He "must be removed from office immediately" via the 25th Amendment to prevent additional "deranged acts of sedition."

Pence wrote to Pelosi earlier Tuesday saying he would not invoke the 25th Amendment having assessed that he did not find it to be constitutional. The House plans to vote on impeaching Trump over his conduct on Wednesday.

Pelosi announces impeachment managers

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced nine Democratic members will serve as impeachment managers as the House readies for a second impeachment of President Donald Trump, this time for his role in Wednesday's Capitol riot.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., will serve as the lead manager. He will be joined by Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., David Cicilline, D-R.I., Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Joe Neguse, D-Colo., and Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., as well as Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-U.S. Virgin Islands.

The House is voting Tuesday on a resolution asking Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. Pence has said he does not believe it is appropriate or constitutional to do so. The House will then vote Wednesday on impeaching the president. 

Republicans protest, circumvent security checkpoint at Capitol

Several Republican lawmakers complained about the extra layer of security to enter the House floor on Tuesday, which was put in place by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after last week's deadly riot at the Capitol.

Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert, of Texas, Steve Stivers, of Ohio, Van Taylor, of Texas, Lauren Boebert, of Colorado, Debbie Lesko, of Arizona, and Larry Bucshon, of Indiana were among others seen not complying with police at checkpoints, or complained of its implementation, according to press pool and media reports.  

Boebert, a newly-elected member who vowed in a viral video to carry a gun in the Capitol, was seen in an apparent dispute with police over going through the metal detector. Taylor refused to pass through the metal detector and argued with officers about it, according to Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va. 

Lesko, in a tweet, blamed Pelosi. 

"These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!" she wrote. 

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Pence says invoking the 25th Amendment not 'in the best interest of our nation'

Hours ahead of a House vote on a resolution calling on him to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office, Vice President Mike Pence said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that he does not believe doing so "is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution."

"Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation."

Pence said the 25th Amendment was designed to be used only in the event of presidential incapacity or disability.

"Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation," he said. "Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent."

Pence said the Trump administration is focusing its energy on "ensuring an orderly transition," saying, "now is the time to heal."

"I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment," he said as the House considers impeachment. "Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. I pledge to you that will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me God."

The House is expected to vote on the 25th Amendment resolution around 10:30 pm. ET. Pelosi said that, if passed, Pence has 24 hours to respond. But with Pence saying he will not invoke the measure, the House plans to vote Wednesday on an article of impeachment charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in Wednesday's riot.

If passed, a Senate trial would then have to take place to decide whether to convict Trump and possibly bar him from seeking elected office again.

GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene erupts at media in Capitol, calls them 'liars'

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., erupted at reporters on Tuesday as she was entering the Capitol building, calling them "liars."

As she was going through the magnetometer, she thanked the officers who were working but erupted when photographers began snapping photos, according to a press pool report. She then started yelling and asking what the journalists were reporting on and also where they were when people “burned buildings and looted... do you guys remember that?" she asked, an apparent reference to civil unrest this past summer.

Last week, during the violent Capitol riot that resulted in the deaths of five people, Trump supporters hurled death threats at reporters and trashed the equipment of some journalists. There was also an instance where a rioter made a noose out of the cord of a reporter's equipment. 

Taylor Greene, a businesswoman who has expressed support for the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon and been criticized for a series of racist comments, won her seat this past November. She is a Trump loyalist, who has repeatedly refused to wear a mask in the Capitol building and on the floor.

The lawmaker, who was wearing a mask in this instance, continued grumbling and insulting the photographers as she went through an additional layer of security. 

"Y’all are the best, y’all are great," she said, referring to the police. "All the media and all the liars and them, they’re not great.”